Half Mag / Half Zine

Newmont Corp’s (NEM.N) chief executive assured investors that inflationary pressures were abating and should help the gold miner improve performance in the current quarter, after lower gold prices and surging costs dented third-quarter earnings.

“We are starting to see some relief across energy and consumable costs coming into the fourth quarter, and then seeing that play out into 2023,” said CEO Tom Palmer.

Newmont’s all-in sustaining costs (AISC), an industry metric that reflects total expenses, were up 13.5% at $1,271 per ounce of gold in quarter ended Sept. 30, largely due to lower gold sales volumes and higher labor, energy and raw materials costs.

While Palmer said inflation, particularly in energy, fuel and consumables costs, is coming down, he noted that labor costs “are proving to be a bit stickier.”

“Labor cost makes up half of our direct costs.” He added that Newmont is seeing an about 4% increase on average across wages.

The company is also seeing high levels of cost inflation on the services it contracts during mining, Palmer said.

Newmont’s quarterly gold production rose to 1.49 million ounces from last year’s 1.45 million ounces. However, its realized gold price fell by $87 to $1,691 per ounce of gold.

Gold prices were down 8% in the third quarter, their worst performance since March 2021, primarily on hawkish interest-rate hikes by central banks around the world in the face of unrelenting inflation.

The company’s adjusted profit fell to 27 cents per share in the July-Sept period, from 60 cents per share a year earlier, missing analysts’ estimates of 36 cents.